Sunday, June 24, 2012

Painting On Site In Umbria

  I think it must be every artist's dream to be able to have the opportunity to paint in Italy. I find the light and landscape so inspiring around our favorite areas in Umbria. 
  Having the time to explore the region, to look for different possibilities for small paintings, is half the fun. Some days the weather doesn't cooperate, but I can still find a few hours in the day to set up my easel and give it a try. I have painted in all sorts of weather, but I must admit, a nice day in Umbria is hard to beat, especially in early Spring.
  When I paint in town, or any populated area, I try to find some place to set up that is tucked away, out of the frey. I would rather not have people watch, or come by to ask questions. They always do, and that's fine, but mostly I try to hide away in a corner. For me, painting is private experience.

Painting the piazza in Panicale, off the main drag, sort of.
The artist trying to blend in.

  It's fun to be painting in a town that's hundreds of years old, especially since I love art history. Panicale is known for the early Renaissance painter, Perugino, who was the teacher of young Raphael.        Masolino da Panicale, possibly the first artist to create oil paintings,(?) was also from Panicale.
  Humbly, I feel I am standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Painting in my Italian apron in Piazza Umberto 1
Panicale, Umbria.

  Here's my view of the piazza. I wanted to try to capture the gentle feel of a moment in the piazza. To the left, the shop that sells tabbaco, newspapers, bus tickets and day to day needs of the locals. At the bottom , near the main gate into town, is Bar Gallo, our cafe/bar and home away from home. 
  I remember the day started sunny, and then became overcast. We were picking up a friend at the train station later in the afternoon, so I set up early.

The local scene.

  Janelle caught me painting on her way for groceries, so here is a video from that morning:

  Below are more images of me working throughout the area. Doing some of the work that an artist has to do. Believe it or not, I am actually working at my trade, doing what I love to do, passion.
  People may think that it's easy to paint a good painting, something an art lover may want to spend their hard earned money on, but I have a serious commitment to what I do, whether I'm working in California or Italy, or wherever. 
  History is what binds serious artists together. It is a loving embrace of all the artists, the art and the history that has come before me. I consider it a real privilege.

Working in the shade in La Mura, near Panicale.

I loved painting the small gouaches, above, and below...

  Back at the house in Panicale (below), I am going over the group of gouaches I've done, and preparing paper for more. Here, I am adding a colored pencil line around each piece in this series. 
  I would often work at home at this big table while Janelle was fixing lunch or dinner. It was part of my temporary studio. Also, it gave me a chance to see the works as a whole.

  I also enjoyed taking beautiful hikes in the area to find a spot to paint. The shots below are taken from way above town, about a twenty minute walk. In the distance is Panicale, with Lago Trasimeno  off beyond the hills. What a sky. What a day. What a lucky life.

A bench with a view. Painting at the old cemetary above town.

Easy to soak in the beauty.

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